Monday, April 8, 2013

The State of Marriage in Nigeria

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Recently there have been a lot of distress in some quarters about the state of marriage in Nigeria, both for those who are already married, and for those yet to marry. Some older people believe marriage is losing its value, divorce rates are on the increase, and young men and women are showing a reluctance to get married. This post addresses some of my thoughts on the issue.

First, let us remember to separate sexual needs and child bearing from marriage. As human beings we are indeed biologically tuned to be in our prime to do certain things like have children, have great sex, et al. That does not however automatically equate that we are then biologically primed to get married when we are in our child bearing or sexual prime. It is ideal, but not necessary.

Two: We all live in a revolving and evolving society. Once upon a time in Nigeria, (at least we know for a historical fact within the Yoruba and Igbo cultures) a man was not only allowed, but encouraged to marry several wives. By the way, the Bible has several examples of polygamy, even though in the old testament, like those of Kings David and Solomon and of course Jacob. I have not had the time to do a new testament research on this.

In the era when polygamy was accepted in society, men and women still had to be committed, and I believe marriage separations were minimal simply because a man was allowed multiple wives and secondly and more importantly, it was a heavily male dominated economic society, so women at the time did not leave marriage as they would in most cases have no way to fend for themselves.

Anyway, the introduction of foreign religions modified that societal norm. One man one wife became the new mantra for Christians, and most educated Nigerian. So why are young men and women not getting married? Why is the average age of marriage for both men and women on the increase? These are some of the problems I've noticed.

For those who want to get married, the main problem they have is to determine what they NEED in a partner versus what they WANT. Once this is properly resolved, they are much closer to getting married. Its good to get what you want, but essential you get what you need.

People need to take a step back and ask themselves WHY they want to get married in the first place. Is it their age? Status in society? In Nigeria aside from the person's internal personal desire for marriage, there are many external societal and family pressures that make people feel they MUST get married even if deep within, they are either not ready or not interested at all.

In line with the above, a person should not get married or take any other decision for that matter based on external societal or family pressures, due to the simple saying that goes: He who wears the shoe, knows where it pinches. Once you get married, you are the one who will face the positive as well as the negatives.

For those that are strong enough, and realize they need not get married, life can continue and still be great and enjoyable. They can have as much sex as they want, have kids and have a great life, and when they finally feel they have found somebody they really want to spend the rest of their lives with, then they take the plunge.

I would never advise anyone to get into something without planning to be 100% committed to it, be it a job be it marriage, especially marriage. Hence if you do decide to get married, I would advise you plan to be 100% committed and work to make sure you are. If however for one of the so many reasons out there that it does not work out, get out of the marriage. But the society in Nigeria and even in the United States to a large extent will frown upon you, so be prepared.

So my conclusion is there is nothing to worry about in the marriage situation among Nigerians, it might simply be another step in the evolution of our society.

Oh, and if there are girls and guys out there that sincerely want to get married and are having a hard time, send them to romance meets life, we will solve that problem fast fast! Okay it might take a few months :)


  1. What a wonderful post. My favorite part is that people shouldn't get married due to external pressures. Great job.

  2. Very matured article, and it shows you're writing from experience. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Marriage is one of the ways to provide stability in the society through building a family, and I don't think we should take it lightly like this. Thanks.

  4. hmmm...true talk,,,bt i stil need more 4 myself?

  5. There are good points in this article as well as decietful advice. The world is changing very fast, I understand, but it's ungodly to support premarital sex the way you. It is even worse to support child-bearing outside wedlock. If two adults decide to have sex, it is their decision, problem, or pleasure or even sin. I respect Myne Whitman and I understand your immediate environment (USA) does not care much about religious doctrines, etc. But, I think that if you personally feel premarital sex is ok, you might be endangering people by preaching it. It is a feeling you should keep to yourself, rather than encourage it. We may all be guilty, but it doesn't mean it's the best. If you really believe in God, you should never preach premarital sex, it is a sin according to The Bible. Ekene

    1. Marriage can only work with commitment from both husband and wife. Adultery is the most common problem in Nigeria (in the world)because some ''African'' men have ''superiority complex' believing that a man that's faithful to one woman is not a man. Information passed to them from their fathers, grandfathers and forefathers. When the wife confronts the husband, only a few humble themselves enough to confess it, most become aggressive and turn the wife to a punching bag. Results, I'll say, currently, a lot of women have risen to the challenge of not going through what they witnessed their mothers go through. No more endurance,if you can't be faithful and committed they separate from the man or the highly foolish ones find themselves other men too. Not acceptable. If you love someone, you protect them with everything.


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